Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > June 13, 2003 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
FSU Broadcast Center
June 13, 2003
1:00 – 3:00 PM


Members Present: Dr. Auzenne, Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Duda, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Mr. Haggard, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Dr. McGee, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sullivan, and Mr. Thrasher.

Members Excused: Mr. Ford

1. Call to Order and Welcome

Chairman Thrasher convened the meeting of the Florida State University Board of Trustees at the FSU Broadcast Center in Tallahassee, Florida, at 10:00 a.m., June 13, 2003. The following members were present: Dr. Auzenne, Mr. Brooks, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Mr. Haggard, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sullivan, and Mr. Thrasher. Dr. McGee and Mrs. Duda participated by conference call. Mr. Ford had an excused absence.

Chairman Thrasher welcomed everyone to the meeting. Mr. Smith made a motion to suspend the Board of Trustees’ Operating Procedure Section 203 (b) to take up the items listed on the agenda. Dr. Furlow seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

Chairman Thrasher indicated that he was delighted to be able to honor several individuals. First, he said that the Board of Trustees wishes to honor Beverly Spencer for her service to the University, as Vice President for University Relations. He said that Beverly has worked for FSU for over 10 years and has quite a legacy. Mr. Thrasher said that there is no more passionate Seminole than Beverly Spencer; she lives and breathes Florida State University. He said we will miss her but know that she will be around and available for consultation and advice. President Wetherell presented the Westcott award and said that Beverly Spencer was instrumental in landscaping and beautifying the campus. There will be a bench in Beverly Spencer’s honor on the FSU campus. Ms. Spencer thanked the Board of Trustees, friends and alumni.

Chairman Thrasher asked for a motion to take up an item that appears later in the agenda relating to naming the Institute for Government for Scott Dailey. Dr. Auzenne made the motion that was seconded by Mr. Garcia and passed unanimously. Mrs. Sarah Ann Dailey and Mr. Charlie Dailey stepped forward and President Wetherell read the resolution naming the Florida Institute of Government for Scott Dailey. Sarah Ann Dailey thanked President Wetherell and the Board of Trustees.

Chairman Thrasher thanked two former trustees, Lee Hinkle and Michele Pletch,
for their service on the Board of Trustees. He also announced that the College of Medicine has received good news. They received confirmation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) that their provisional accreditation status is continued and they are on track to be fully accredited by the Spring of 2005 when the first class of M.D.s graduate.

2. Election of a Vice Chair

Chairman Thrasher opened the nominations for vice chair. Mr. Sullivan nominated Mr. Smith for vice chair. The Board unanimously approved the nomination.

3. Approval of Minutes

Mr. Haggard made a motion that the Board of Trustees’ minutes from the January 24, 2003 meeting be approved. Dr. Auzenne seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

Mr. Smith made a motion that the Board of Trustees’ minutes from the March 28, 2003 conference call be approved. Mr. Knowles seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

4. Presentation

Mr. Windell Paige, Director of the Office of Supplier Diversity, with the Department of Management Services, made a presentation. Mr. Paige said that it is very important to understand that supplier diversity in Florida has two sides. He said the one side is the education side and the other side is equity and contracting which he has the privilege of directing. Mr. Paige urged the Board to take every opportunity to keep diversity in mind in every decision. He indicated that Florida State University has done a great job in its supply and diversity efforts and asked that the Board continue to provide support for staff to continue to do an excellent job.

5. Comments, Faculty Senate

Dr. Charles Connerly made a presentation on behalf of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Connerly thanked the Board of Trustees for encouraging faculty participation. He said that there are many issues facing the University but none greater than the budget reductions and the failure to fully fund enrollment growth this year. He said that the faculty hopes that cuts will be made that do not impair the academic integrity of the University that is both a teaching and a research institution. In the past when facing tough choices the administration and Faculty Senate have often worked together to help decide where the cuts will be made. Joint decisions seem to have worked out better than unilateral ones. Dr. Connerly said that participation in this process is a privilege and with it comes the responsibilities to share the heat for difficult decisions, which we have done in the past, and we are willing to do so again

6. Comments, Student Government Association

Mr. Cordy A. Richardson, Vice President of the Student Government Association, made a presentation. Mr. Richardson thanked the Board of Trustees for inviting him to make comments on behalf of the students. He discussed the student government lobbying efforts concerning the Bright Futures program and minimizing tuition increases during the 2003 Legislative Session. Another very large accomplishment for students is the elimination of campus ATM fees. Mr. Richardson said that several issues that they will be working on in the coming academic year include: recreational facility expansion (especially intramural fields), the $1 million homecoming & Pow Wow effort, and student activation in political issues.

7. Committee Reports:

Mr. Haggard asked the Chair if the order of business could be changed to accommodate Mr. Hart’s schedule. Mr. Dave Hart, Athletic Director made a presentation to the Board based on discussion in the Student Affairs Committee. He said that student athletes are actively participating in community service. This past year the total student athlete population gave back to the community over 4,500 hours in their participation with various community service projects. He said that each team plans to adopt a charity for a given year to set and meet community service goals. Mr. Hart indicated that there was considerable discussion in the committee about the level of achievement of our total student athlete population as it relates to academics. Finally, he said that ACC expansion is at the end of the process and information has been gathered for the nine Presidents to analyze prior to taking the final step.

Chairman Thrasher said that on the March 28, 2003 conference call the Board adopted a procedure to take up and pass consent items. Consent items are important but they are not the kind of items that we are going to require a lot of time, debate, or discussion unless there is an objection. He said that a number of items on the consent agenda were moved to the regular agenda. Based on the consent procedure all of the consent items will be taken up and dispensed with in one motion unless any of the Board members have an objection to a particular item which we will then remove and will discuss it separately as part of the rest of the agenda. Mr. Garcia made a motion to take up all consent items on the agenda and approve them. Mrs. Duda seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The following consent items were approved in this motion:

Finance and Business Committee Consent Items
1. Budget Reduction Guidelines
2. Request for Approval/Distance Learning Waivers
3. Request for Approval/Admissions Deposit
4. Authorization for Bond Refinancing/Boosters
5. Participation in the State Adoption Program
6. Human Resources Policy and Procedure Revision
7. Authorization to Sell Revenue Bonds/Housing
8. Request for Approval/Flexible Scheduling
9. Authorization for Bond Refinancing/Shaw Building/FSU Research
Foundation, Inc.
10. Request for Approval to File Suit Against Florida Biotechnology,

Academic Affairs Committee Consent Items
1. Creation of a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences
2. Creation of an M.S. in Epidemiology
3. Creation of an M.S. in Public Health
4. Permission to Explore Creation of a B.A. in Middle East Studies

Finance and Business Committee

Chairman Thrasher recognized Mr. John Carnaghi, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, for a committee report and discussion of the action agenda items. Mr. Carnaghi indicated that Dr. Abele would discuss the 2003-04 tuition policy and Mr. Alvarez would discuss the 2003-04 operating budget.

Dr. Lawrence G. Abele, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, began by thanking Mr. Cordy Richardson and Mr. Patrick Sullivan for being such a great team to work with on budget issues. He said that the first item has to do with the budget issue and that this is the first time in perhaps 50 years that the Legislature did not provide access for new students to attend college. In fact, the University began with a $5.4 million budget cut. There is a mandated 8.5% increase in tuition at all levels. He said the frustration that he is sure that students and faculty feel, is that this is a continuation of having students pay for more services and actually get fewer services. The University will be enrolling perhaps 1,500 or 2,000 additional students with no new resources and the current students will be paying more in tuition. He said the policy and operating practice has been to keep tuition below the national average at all levels. Therefore, the University is recommending only the legislatively mandated increase for in-state undergraduate tuition and for the in-state matriculation a 2.5% increase for in-state graduate, law, and medicine. That would bring the University up to 92% of the national average; tuition and fees in public universities were considerably below private universities. Dr. Abele indicated that for law and medicine the recommendation is for the maximum 6.5% tuition increase for out-of-state students and for medicine it is more of a simple statement since the University does not enroll out-of-state medical students at the College of Medicine. For the law students that would raise their tuition and fees to slightly above the national average and for undergraduate out-of-state students the recommendation is for an optional 6.5% increase that would place the University at 92.1% of the national average. The dollar amount for in-state undergraduates will be about $176 per year. He said that this information and the chart containing those other numbers are in the Board materials.

Mr. Sullivan asked Dr. Abele to clarify that the University is not suggesting an optional increase for in-state undergraduate students and whether that was an option or if that was mandated? Dr. Abele indicated that the mandated tuition increase was 8.5%. He said that he believes that students are already paying more than they should relative to General Revenue that is being provided by the Legislature. Mr. Thrasher said that the increase is regrettable but that is what the University is faced with in the budget situation in the State of Florida.

Mr. Sullivan stated that students are paying more and not receiving more services. A champion of higher education on behalf of our students is needed. He said that the administration has done a thorough job in researching and making cuts that are appropriate and not taking away from academics. One concern is the cut in financial aid. Dr. Abele indicated that the proposed reduction was restored.

Chairman Thrasher said that it could have been much worse without the tireless efforts of President Wetherell. He said that everyone must continue to work hard to make the facts known how important higher education is to our State. He said that the costs of the class size reduction amendment will dig deeply into the budget in the State of Florida and that we should make sure those members of the Legislature understand that higher education cannot afford to have future cuts. Mr. Sullivan said that in the past there was a committee of students to provide input into how appropriated funds will be spent.

Mr. Smith made a motion to approve 2003-2004 tuition policy. Dr. Auzenne seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Mr. Ralph Alvarez made a presentation on the 2003-04 operating budget. He pointed out that there has been a downward trend in university funding since 2000-2001, while enrollment has been increasing. Funds were not appropriated for several items such as extra students, utility increases, and graduate fee waivers. He explained how the University is implementing certain reductions and using the resources that have been appropriated through development of the operating budget. Mr. Alvarez explained the 31 prioritized projects on the PECO list.

Mr. Garcia made a motion to approve the 2003-2004 tentative operating budget and Fixed Capital Outlay budget request, with delegated authority to the President to make any changes to the budget as needed, within available resources. Mr. Haggard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Dr. Abele made a presentation on the Florida and National Lambda Rail Initiative. He explained that during the heyday of the expansion of the Internet, a large number of companies, entrepreneurs, and speculators purchased and installed a staggering amount of fiber optic material that was never turned on. It is therefore called “dark fiber.” There are huge amounts of this around the United States. There are two consortia being formed. A national consortium called the National Lambda Rail Initiative has approximately fifty universities involved. Each group that has been formed generally represents a single State is paying up to five million dollars in partnership with Cisco Corporation to turn this fiber-optic on into the new generation of Internet connectivity. There is also a large amount in the state of Florida. Two private institutions, the University of Miami and Florida Institute of Technology, along with six current public institutions have formed a consortium to purchase the fiber-optics in the State of Florida. Dr. Abele said that the University is seeking permission to join both of these organizations. The cost to the University will be approximately one million dollars a year for five years. It will give students, faculty, and staff not just connectivity throughout Florida, but throughout the United States at the highest possible bandwidth.

Dr. Auzenne made a motion to approve moving forward on the national and state Lambda Rail Initiative. Dr. Marshall seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Mr. Carnaghi discussed the award of the bookstore contract and food service contract. He asked the Board to approve the award of a ten-year contract to the Follett Corporation of Elmhurst, Illinois, the current operator of FSU Bookstore. Mr. Carnaghi indicated that the food service contract had been awarded to a new vendor, Aramark.

Mr. Sullivan made a motion to approve the award of the two contracts. The motion was seconded by Mr. Garcia and passed unanimously.

Academic Affairs Committee

Dr. Abele provided a brief update on enrollment. He said that students continue seeking admission and attendance at Florida State University. The University has a tremendous student body, a diverse student body. This week Black Issues in Higher Education published the top one hundred institutions in the United States, and Florida State is tenth in the United States for historically black colleges and universities. He said that the University is third in the nation among traditionally white institutions and tenth overall. The number of African American students increased twenty percent over the last year in terms of baccalaureate degrees. Additionally, Dr. Abele said that at the next meeting job guarantees for graduates of the College of Nursing and graduates of teacher certification programs will be brought to the Board. Finally, he said that an Asolo agreement has been reached.

Student Affairs Committee

Dr. Mary Coburn, Vice President for Student Affairs, reported on the Student Affairs Committee meeting. She said that she is frequently asked, “What is Student Affairs?” The Student Affairs staff prepared notebooks for the Board of Trustees. Each notebook is a compilation of the literature prepared for constituent groups, students and their families, listing the services that Student Affairs’ staff provides.

8. President's Report

President Wetherell asked Dr. Abele to provide a brief update on the status of pending labor relations certifications. Dr. Abele said that the University deals with four unions. They are all seeking approval or votes at this time. Once those are finalized, the University can move forward.

President Wetherell thanked the Board for support on the budget and the issues that the University faced during the Legislative Session. He said this is a very difficult budget year. The University administration has made every effort to protest academic programs from budget reductions.

President Wetherell presented several items of information to the Board. First, he said that he is proud of the outstanding job that Dr. Ocie Harris, Dean of the College of Medicine, is doing in leading the school to accreditation. Second, he discussed the importance of the SACS accreditation process. The University is in the final phases of a challenging process. He thanked Dr. Harrison for her leadership on this issue. Third, he said that the University would begin discussion with the City of Tallahassee on several issues the following week. The Mayor of Tallahassee has been extremely helpful and issues including intramural fields, Gaines Street, transportation, game security, the Civic Center, etc. will be discussed. Fourth, President Wetherell said that the job guarantee program issue will be brought back before the Board in September.

President Wetherell discussed the importance of the getting General Revenue funding from the Legislature for the University. He said that this is a top priority issue for the University and that he hopes that this would be the chief issue in the newspaper stories following the meeting. First, he presented a chart showing the enrollment increases and General Revenue funding decreases. Second, he presented a chart comparing tuition at ACC institutions, Maclay Kindergarten, and FSU. Dr. Wetherell said that tuition in the state of Florida is extremely low. The tuition for a kindergarten student at MacClay School is $6,850 for one year. Undergraduate tuition at Florida State University is about $2,684. The tuition increase passed by the Board of Trustees represents $176. The tuition increase for Kindergarten students at MacClay next year will be $600. The peer institutions in the Atlantic Coast Conference charge about $1,500 more in tuition than FSU. He said that since FSU has the highest caliber students, faculty, and staff, they deserve every effort that can be made to get more General Revenue funding. It is also that the Board be allowed to levy fees and tuition that makes the University competitive with the rest of the nation’s universities. He said that he would keep trying to make the need for funding the top issue reported about FSU in newspapers.

President Wetherell discussed the athletic program at the University. He said that FSU has an excellent athletic program. He said that in the Student Affairs Committee meeting there was a report on the academic progress made by the University’s athletes. There are about 440 athletes on scholarship and 168 of those athletes have a 3.0 or higher Grade Point Average (G.P.A). Four of the 17 teams have an overall team average G.P.A of 3.0 or higher. Fourteen of the 17 teams have 2.8 G.P.A or higher. He said that 28 of the 151 students inducted into Torchbearers, which is the leadership team, were athletes. Three of the University’s All Americans, led by Matt Lynch, a baseball player, received post-graduate scholarships from the ACC. About 20% of the University’s students are on ACC honor rolls. He said that his point is that the University has done a number of very good things in Athletics. However, there have been some problems. He said, “we don’t, by any stretch of the imagination, suggest there have not been.”

President Wetherell said that when he was appointed President of the University, the Board of Trustees asked him to review the entire institution. He said that between the Provost, Deans and the Faculty Senate, the administration has reviewed every element of the University. He said there have been some very difficult decisions, as indicated by the budget. One of the University programs identified for review was the Athletics Department. Dr. Wetherell said that since he has had a forty-year relationship with Coach Bowden relating back to the time when he was a player, that had he simply decided to do a University review of the Athletics Department someone might have questioned the review results because of that personal relationship. Consequently, he decided to get some outside assistance from a firm called MGT of America, a national firm with a national reputation. It is a firm that just completed a similar study at the University of Texas. Dr. Mary McKeown-Moak led the team in reviewing the Athletics Department. Additionally, Dr. Wetherell said that his predecessor, President D’Alemberte, had ordered a study relative to certain events that took place on the gambling issue. An 800-page collaborative study between the FSU Police Department, the local Florida Department of Law enforcement, and the Tallahassee Police Department, was released a few months ago. Also, an FSU Inspector General study was commissioned. Concurrently, the Atlantic Coast Conference completed a routine compliance study. Finally, Mr. Hart was asked to send a letter to the NCAA requesting clarification relative to personal items that athletes happen to own and sell. The NCAA made a ruling that was subsequently challenged by another institution and overturned.

President Wetherell summarized the key points in the reports and the decisions that were made concerning Athletics. He said that the reports have one overall concern that the Athletic Department and the University have separated. He said he and Mr. Hart have worked through that issue, and have agreed on that steps that are being taken to remedy this situation. Dr. Wetherell said that some of the recommendations will be implemented immediately, some will be worked through the new Athletic committee, and some will be worked through other committees on campus. First, the Athletic board will be restructured. Dianne Harrison will be asked to chair the Athletic Committee. Dr. Bill Proctor, who is on the State Board of Education, will be the vice chair of the Athletic Committee and to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Second, Mr. Haggard has been asked to assume an oversight role for Athletics in his role of chairman of the Student Affairs Committee. Third, concerning the organization and structure of the Athletic Department, there will be joint reporting of certain staff positions, streamlined procedural and investigation requirements, enhanced student athlete counseling, and financial aid coordination. Specifically, he said Mr. Hart has agreed that in the future all activities will be in writing and will be available. But because of the Buckley Amendment not all of those records are always open to the public. Finally, Dr. Wetherell said that one of the questions that everyone keeps asking is “Who is going to get fired?” He said Mr. Hart will conduct an evaluation of the Athletic Department staff. That evaluation will be conducted based upon his professional judgment. It will also be based on some of the information in those reports. Mr. Hart will make an evaluation of each of those individuals pursuant to FSU policies and procedures. President Wetherell said that once that is done, he will conduct an evaluation of Mr. Hart. He said it is important to remember that the responsibility of an athlete at FSU is threefold: (1) To participate and play to the best of their ability; (2) To earn a degree; and (3) To grow as an individual. Dr. Wetherell said that the University’s responsibility is to help student athletes achieve these goals.

President Wetherell indicated that he is going to ask the Athletic Committee to examine the Athletic Department’s bonus program. He said that the Committee should consider developing an approach to tie a disincentive to the bonus program. No longer will it be just how many games are won that determines bonus payments. There should also be two other factors involved. These factors should be successful graduation rates and discipline.

Dr. Wetherell concluded his remarks by saying that he and Mr. Hart are in total agreement that by making needed changes that Athletic Department will be brought back into the mainstream where it should be. He said: “Will it solve every problem? We hope so, and that is our goal. If something happens in the future, we believe there is a process by which we can deal with it. We think we can learn from whatever decisions were made in the past. We may make mistakes in the future, but we hope not to make the same mistakes we made in the past.”

Chairman Thrasher assured President Wetherell that the Board of Trustees would fully support him in making these changes to enhance accountability and control. He asked the Board to consider an additional business item. He said that when Dr. Wetherell was selected as the President a little over six months ago the Board, at his request, entered into a three-year contract with Dr. Wetherell. In doing so, the Board indicated that there would be an evaluation, as the law requires at the end of one year of his Presidency. That is six months away. The terms and conditions of his contract will be evaluated at that time. Mr. Thrasher said that the President has done an exemplary job in the first six months of his tenure under very difficult and trying circumstances, both in the environment and from a personal standpoint with the challenge that he has had to face. He asked the board to consider an amendment to extend the President’s contract until June 14, 2008. That makes it a five-year contract, and the current contract is for three years. At the end of this year, as the law requires, the Board will conduct an extensive evaluation of his performance.

Mrs. Duda made a motion to amend the President’s contract to extend it two years beyond what it currently provides, to make it a five-year contract. Mr. Haggard seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

Chairman Thrasher asked if any other Board members had comments. Mr. Smith indicated that the recommendation that will benefit Florida State’s image the most is tying bonuses to graduation and lack of discipline problems in programs. Mr. Brooks said that is important that the coaches get involved with the players. Dr. Furlough commended President Wetherell for focusing on the need for the athletes to get an education.

President Wetherell added that he forgot to mention that the Athletic Department will adopt a charity each year. Additionally, the athletes will be asked to actively interact with Boosters.

9. Adjournment

Chairman Thrasher closed by saying that the state of affairs at Florida State University is very, very good. He said “We have a great President. We have a great Administration. We have a wonderful faculty. We have wonderful, and the best, students I think in the state of Florida combined. Florida State University is doing very well. It is when you find issues like this that are difficult, the President is willing to take them on head first, bring them to this Board and let us listen to them. I am confident in him and his administration that they are on the right track, and these things will be resolved. Florida State University is doing very well, and I just want to thank all the Board members for their time today and particularly thank the President and staff for a great meeting and we look forward to seeing all of you soon.”

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.

Approved by the Board of Trustees: September 19, 2003.